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4 Simple DIY Upholstered Headboard

A simple and cheap way to update your bedroom is to add a DIY upholstered headboard behind the bed. This upholstered headboard is affordable and fun to make because you can put your own custom touch on the project.

Making a headboard yourself will coast roughly $40 or less depending on the materials that you use. The project can be completed in a couple or hours and can even be easily reupholstered if you want to the look.

How to Build a DIY Upholstered Headboard

A DIY upholstered headboard is a fun project because it is easy and you can get creative with the design.

A bedroom feels cozy and complete with texture, so I recommend wrap the upholstered headboard with a fabric that has a textured pattern.

I originally made this headboard with navy fabric to match my theme, but after a couple of years I wanted to change it.

The great thing about this diy headboard is that you can easily reupholster overtop of the existing fabric.

diy upholstered headboard
After Reupholstering my DIY Headboard

Step 1: Measure Plywood for the DIY Upholsterd Headboard

If you have a bed lower to the ground, it will involve nothing more than buying a piece of plywood.

If your bed is higher, you can easily put legs on it or stack 2 pieces of plywood.

Make sure you get a piece of plywood (RTD, sanded plywood, etc.) that is close to ¾ inch thick so that it’s firm, and the standard size should be a 4×8 feet.

It doesn’t matter how ugly the piece of wood looks for your DIY headboard because it will get covered.

If you get the correct size, it should not require you to cut it at all.

A smaller bed may required that you cut the wood, so that it doesn’t overlap the bed too far.

Home Depot typically with make cuts to plywood for free, if you need the plywood smaller.

plywood headboard
DIY Plywood Headboard

Step 2: Adding Padding to the Plywood Headboard

I recommend adding thick foam padding on the plywood for a softer headboard.

You can use foam padding from a craft store or even a cheap mattress topper.

The entire piece of plywood does not need to be covered all the way to the bottom because the bed will hide the lower portion of it.

However, do make sure it covers enough to actually wrap around the back.

plywood headboard
Make sure the foam padding is stapled separately and then staple the fabric over top of it

I used a mattress topper, since it’s cheaper and works fine for just resting my head against.

Make sure the topper is at least slightly longer that the headboard, so you can staple it behind the headboard

If your mattress topper is too short, you can cut the topper into two foam pads to cover the width.

Step 3: Upholstering the Headboard

The fabric for the headboard can be purchase from a craft store or you can use a durable curtain or sheet.

When selecting fabric for the headboard, make sure it’s longer than 8 feet wide so that it covers the entire width.

To upholster the headboard, lay the fabric out flat placing the plywood on top of the fabric.

Before attaching the fabric, adjust and smooth the fabric underneath the plywood then pull the fabric from one side so that it wraps around the back.

Using a staple gun work your way around while you pull the fabric in place.

fabric diy headboard

After one side is stapled, pull the other side taught. Making sure not to pull too tight that it leaves wrinkle lines because you want it to look smooth.

Staple the other side in the back as well, and then go along the top with staples.

Flip it back over and try to work out any wrinkles before stapling the bottom of it.

Step 4: Adhering the Headboard to the Bed

To mount the headboard, you will just sandwich it between your bed and the wall.

This should be enough to hold the headboard up right.

That would be all you have to do for a lower bed.

If your bed is higher, you’ll need to either put legs on it with 1×4’s or stack two pieces of plywood on top of each other.

You can attach “legs” by drilling in 1×4’s to the back of it.

Just make sure the screws don’t go through the front, so measure beforehand.

If you do go with this method, just make sure the legs are equal so that it’s level when you stand it up.

upholstered headboard
Another view of the back

Another method of doing this is by stacking two pieces of plywood on top of each other and attaching them together with 1×4’s.

I recommend attaching these two pieces together before putting on the foam and fabric to make sure it goes down far enough to be covered by the bed.

Again, make sure the screws don’t come out the front.

There you have it, simple instructions for your own DIY upholstered headboard.

Reupholstering Tips

If you get tired of your upholstered headboard design, you can easily reupholster right over the existing fabric. So, if you are feeling bold, go for a fun fabric because it can easily be changed out.

I changed the look of my plywood headboard while my kids napped. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to lift this headboard by myself and reupholster it.

Upholstered headboard

I slightly tweaked my back trying to lift this wide piece of plywood, but it was worth because I finished this project in under an hour!

To see more of my recently upholstered headboard, check out my master bedroom update!

Cheap Ways to Update Your Bedroom

Here are 51 other ways that you can easily update your bedroom on a budget.

Adding shelves, a coat of paint, and an accent wall are some simple ways to totally transform your bedroom!

You might be interested in other projects that saved me over $8,000 in my home!

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